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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

CHAPTER   II.

SACKED BY MAIIMtfD OF GHAZNI, 1017 A.D. ITS TREATMENT BY THE
DELHI EMPERORS. KISE AND PROGKESS OF THE JA'T POWER. MASSACRE AT
AlATHUFv^ 1757, BATTLE OF BARSXNA, 1775. EXECUTION OF CHULYM
K/DIR, 1788. BRITISH OCCUPATION, 1803. BATTLE OF DIG, 1804.
MUTINY^ 1857.

APART from inscriptions and other fragmentary archaeological vcstio-os of its
ancient glory, the first authentic contemporary record of Matlium that we find
in existing literature is dated the year 1017 A. I)., when it was sacked by
Mahmiid of Ghazni in his ninth invasion of India. The original source of
information repeating HnhmuiFs campaigns is the Tiirikh Yamini of Al Utbi
who was himself secretary to the Sultan, though he did not accompany him in
his expeditions. He mentions by name npither Matlmra nor Mahii-ban, but
only describes certain localities, which have been so identified by Firishta' and
later historians, The place supposed to be Malm-ban he calls " the Fort of
KulchantV' a R&jti, who (he writes) " was, not without good reason, confident
in hi: strength, for no one had fouglit against him and not been defeated. He
had vast territories, enormous wealth, a numerous and brave army, huge ele-
phants, and strong forts that no enemy had been able to reduce. When he saw
that the Sultan advanced against him, he drew up his army' and elephants
in a 'deep forest'* ready for action. But finding every attempt to repulse the
invaders fail, the beleaguered infidels at last quitted the fort and tried to cro^s
the broad river which flowed in its rear. When some 50,000 men had been
killed or drowned, Kuichand took a dagger, with which he first slew his wife
and then drove it into his own body. The Sultan obtained by this victory 185
fine elephants beiides other booty," In the neighbouring holy city, identified
asMatlrai*, <*he saw a buildir% of exquisite structure, which the inhabitants
declared to be the Mndiwork not of men but of Genii. t Hie town will was
Constructed of solid stone, and had opening on to the river two gates, raised on
Iiigh and massive basements to protect them from the floods. On the two sides
of the^ity were thousands of houses with idol temples attached, all of masonry
ťasteiu^ with bars of iron ; and opposite them were other building